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Ponzi Scheme» Forums » General

Subject: Am I the perpetrator or victim of a Ponzi scheme? rss

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AndyJ Baddice
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Just played my first game, Ponzi Scheme is a thrilling ride, full of fantastic mind games as players lurch towards inevitable financial ruin, but I'm slightly puzzled by the theme.
Am I meant to be the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme, ripping-off small investors? In which case, why am I collecting sets of shares? Conmen running Ponzi schemes flog investments, they don't collect them.
Or am I the victim of Ponzi scheme? That would explain why I want those shares, and why I am prepared to get myself ever deeper into debt to acquire them. But this can't be right either, because in a Ponzi scheme the shares (or whatever) you buy turn out to be worthless, and these shares are anything but worthless, they're what determines who wins the game.
Must add that this is only a small quibble, I think Ponzi Scheme is a lovely game, even if I can't quite fit the title to the game play.
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Steve K
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I saw players as perpetrators.

We get loans from fools banks and invest in companies. Very profitable for the lenders - as long as you can keep paying the interest. What the lenders don't seem to appreciate is that each loan is used primarily to help pay the interest of prior loans. We can do a bit of share trading on the side, but our main focus is on paying the interest that's about to fall due.

As to the value of the shares ... it's imaginary. The winner is the player who appears "richest" when someone else gets caught unable to pay their debts.
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David Debien
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SteveK2 wrote:

As to the value of the shares ... it's imaginary. The winner is the player who appears "richest" when someone else gets caught unable to pay their debts.


Exactly this. When we play, we talk about our industries like they really exist and about all the wonderful returns they are bringing us, "My Armenian Agriculture Cartel is bringing in a bumper crop this year". When, in fact, the industries themselves are worthless. As the game draws to an end, we start talking about how we are "Going on an extended trip soon to inspect our overseas holdings".
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AndyJ Baddice
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Thanks for your thoughts but it still doesn't ring true for me. If you're running a Ponzi scheme you shouldn't be acquiring worthless shares, you should be dumping them on your poor victims.
 
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David Debien
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baddice wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts but it still doesn't ring true for me. If you're running a Ponzi scheme you shouldn't be acquiring worthless shares, you should be dumping them on your poor victims.


Most people who invest in a Scheme, make their money back. The Schemer pays huge returns to early investors (loan payments). This is how the buzz is created, bringing in more investments. The shares are the Schemers pretend portfolio, showing prospective investors this is how we turn your money into more money. We have this agriculture cartel in Armenia you see, that is returning wonderful amounts due to the Mid-East Pistachio craze!

When in reality, there are no businesses. All the money that comes in goes towards paying earlier investors high returns to keep the buzz going just a little longer. In the end, its the folks who invested in the scheme toward the end that lose their shirts. Anyone who was in long enough to get 2 or 3 cycles of returns will have made most or all of their investment back.
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